Every month, I report the progress of my yearly goals in order to monitor progress (or the lack thereof) and hold myself accountable.
March came and went in a flash, didn’t it? If I didn’t take notes throughout the month, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what transpired. Whew! With three months down, here is my progress thus far.
New Year’s Resolutions: 2021 – March Update
Health & Wellness
- Don’t die. If you’re reading this, I’m still kicking. I’m scheduled to talk to an allergist/immunologist and possibly rheumatologist in April to discuss autoimmune disease and get my body into a happier place.
- Move my body daily. I went on a 2-mile walk each day in March, and went twice on several occasions. The temperature has been in the 70s-80s, so we’re taking advantage of the nice weather before it gets too hot… which is beginning to happen, unfortunately.
- Prioritize sleep. I’m fortunate to be able to work from home and to have a flexible work schedule, so I go to bed at 9pm each night and wake up between 5am and 7am, depending on my body’s needs. Sleep remains my top priority. I had a bizarre bit of insomnia this month, which was seemingly caused by a Resveratrol supplement.
- Continue to eat healthfully. Done. We get 90% of our produce from a local farm and most of our ethically-raised meats from a local butcher, and consume almost no processed foods. I follow a strict low-glycemic, paleo diet/lifestyle plan and supplement for identified deficiencies. I’ve been especially tired this month, so there has been a bit more snacking and fewer “real” meals that usual.
Personal & Professional Development
- Read (or re-read) at least 24 books. I didn’t finish any books this month, through started several and renewed my library card (the pandemic wait lists are insane due to quarantining the books between borrowers).
- Do Homework for Life. Homework for Life is a practice I’ve done on-and-off for at least three years now, but I just completed my first 90 consecutive days with the conclusion of March. It involves capturing the most storyworthy moment of each, and it’s brought joy into the most mundane of days.
- Continued learning. 1) I’m taking an Excel course for work and learning how to better analyze data. My work involves a fair amount of tracking, analyzing, and presenting data, so I’m hoping this will be valuable. 2) My boyfriend has been following Bitcoin since 2010 and it’s finally caught my interest, so I’ve been learning a lot about blockchain technologies this year.
- Select two behaviors that I am opposed to and adopt them for one week, then write about my experiences on the blog. Day-trading has always sounded crazy-stressful to me. This last month, my boyfriend has been teaching me about day-trading and yield-farming cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, reading candlestick charts, noting trading volume, recognizing value trends across time, understanding liquidity, bitcoin mining, and building a node on a Raspberry Pi. I researched alt-coins, identified some that seemed useful, made predictions, followed their trajectory, figured out how to convert the coins across exchanges, tossed in our $300 Costco reward cash, and turned a 67% profit in two weeks. It’s really complicated and a quite risky (apparently rug pulls by developers are common), but it is so fun! I have learned so much about both the stock market and emerging technologies this month, and I’m hoping to toss extra funds in here and there for shits and giggles. As Jeff Bezos once said, “Given a 10% chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time.” Additionally, I’ve been blindly and begrudgingly contributing tiny amounts (DCA) to bitcoin for awhile per my boyfriend’s advice, but now that I understand it… I get it and am excited. While I don’t see myself day-trading or dabbling in alt-coins regularly, this was a fun learning experience for me. I’ll probably run the same experiment with my 2020 tax return next month.
- Complete Yoga Teacher Training. No progress.
- Receive a promotion and boost my salary by +10% in 2021. No progress. This would theoretically happen in March or October at the biannual review cycle.
- Work on identifying my purpose of ideal career path. No progress. I have exercised general curiously, though nothing too noteworthy.
- Achieve net worth of $200,000 by the end of 2021. As of March 31st 2021, my net worth sits at $138,700, up 11.3% from $124,600 in February. After an expensive start to the year, we are now budgeting more aggressively and selling electronics, clothing, and collectibles. We redeemed a $300 Costco cash reward and our household received one $1,400 stimulus check. A freelance writing client I’ve been working with for 12 years urged me to raise my rates. At the start of the year, I moved some cash from dust-collecting bonds into bitcoin and I’m feeling really good about that decision right now, as my 3-month gains in bitcoin have outperformed 50 months in bonds by over 20x (high risk, high reward allocation with money we can afford to lose). I seem to have overpaid 2020 taxes by $2,100 despite no change to my income or withholding, so I’m looking forward to the hefty federal and state tax refunds next month.
- Save 45% of my net income. March had a savings rate of 52%, including the extra income listed above, and split between general savings and dollar-cost-averaging into a 401K, Roth IRA, and bitcoin.
- Remain debt-free. This should remain true unless something crazy happens.
- Start down payment savings account. Our home is paid off and we’re probably staying put for at least four to five years, so I pulled out from bonds and high-yield savings. We’re leaving $15,000 in savings and allocating the rest into cryptocurrencies in hopes of growing the funds over the next several years.
- Writing. I added 11 new posts to this blog. Crowd favorites included the feedback request It’s Like A Choose Your Own Adventure Book! and the thought experiment How Much Money Is ‘Enough’?. My personal favorites were Can We Develop An Open-Source Car? and Early Retirement vs. Hyperinflation (the thing that I am most likely to lose sleep over). To those provided blog feedback and topic requests, thank you!!!
- Sewing. This was a quiet month on the sewing front. I sewed up a fanny pack extended (nylon strap with clips and adjuster) so my brother can wear around his waist and across his chest), made a soft book of The Wonderful Things You Will Be for my 100-day-old niece, and got a refresher in whip-stitching.
- Fermentation. No progress.
- Try at least 12 new recipes. 9) Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets (Gobi 65) from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen cookbook, 10) No-Bake Mint Chocolate Brownie Bars from Minimalist Baker, and 11) Spicy Indian Roasted Cauliflower from Oregon Live, 12) Restaurant Style Aloo Gobi from Vegan Richa
- Canning. No progress.
- Gardening. We have an infestation of ground squirrels, so the garden and the contents of our gardening closet have been devoured by the evil little rodents. I have spent the weekends helping my mom with her garden, and she currently has an array of beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables. The Phoenix summer is just around the corner and I’m already dreading it.
- Post my progress in terms of these resolutions on this blog on the first day of every month. March is now complete.
Family, Friends & Strangers
- Write 50 letters in 2021. As of the end of March, 13 have been written (no change over the last two months). Oops.
- Call a family member or friend at least once per week. I honestly have not kept track of this, though I talk to my parents once or twice per week.
- Surprise my boyfriend at least six times in 2021. No progress. I’m realizing that while I love the idea of surprises, I don’t like being surprised and I’m terrible at coming up with ways to surprise others.
- Celebrate eight years with my best friend. Counting down to October.
- Invent a new word. No progress.
- Take more photos and start an album. This does not come naturally and I did not take many photos at all this month.
- Read to my niece at least six times. One of six completed. At four months, she’s becoming very alert and curious.
- Reconnect with friends I’ve lost touch with while ill. No progress. To be honest, I’m feeling especially reclusive lately and don’t have much desire to connect with others. This last year has been weird.
- Meet new people. After the January update, a reader mentioned that I’m technically meeting people here, and she’s right. So thank you all, simply for showing up and offering me the opportunity to connect. I’m so happy you are here! I basically haven’t left the house in a year, so I’m really looking forward to going to a restaurant, grocery store, or even the boring hardware store… anywhere other than our home will be so refreshing!
- Practice kindness. I basically only interact with my boyfriend. I try to be kind and supportive, but I’m beginning to miss being around people and finding small opportunities to practice kindness. Lately, I’ve chatting it up with my houseplants and laundry, asking whether they feel loved and their needs are being met. Am I losing it? Quite likely. Am I a caring person that needs to find a way to care for other human and non-human entities? It would seem so.
Home & Household
- Mold remediation. Scheduled for May.
- Hang up all the artwork we have lying around. No progress. This is really driving me nuts, but I’m so indecisive. That, and one piece is over 6ft tall and our ceilings are 8ft tall, so it’s been tricky to figure out where to place it.
- Have the custom sketch on the back of Rainbow Sunset professionally scanned and printed. No progress.
- Buy a fireproof safe for sentimental items. Accomplished in January.
- Reassess our emergency preparedness. We currently have 80 gallons of water and two waterBOBs, six months of nonperishable foods and household toiletries, two huge boxes of medical supplies, and loaded “go bags,” camping stoves, and solar lights. If Phoenix is hit by an apocalyptic snowstorm or drought, we should be all set.
- Clean out my closet and get rid of anything I don’t love. No progress. However, I sorted stuff to get rid of and will start selling soon. Prior to the pandemic, the local thrift store was a goldmine for brand new designer clothing–brands that I was only aware of after receiving perfectly-fitting hand-me-downs from my aunt. With the return to office permanently optionally, I’ll likely sell the high-quality items I won’t be wearing anytime soon.
- Save money for a down payment. After many years of fence-sitting, we’re reallocating funds because it doesn’t make sense to have tens of thousands in bonds and savings accounts right now, earning minimal 0.5% interest. My boyfriend has been following bitcoin since 2009 and he has finally sold me on the idea. Worse case scenario, if the market is poor when we want to move, we can sell the home (rather than renting it out) or take a reverse mortgage against our paid-off home. The real estate market is freaking ridiculous in our area and the ongoing gentrification projects in our neighborhood means the home will likely maintain or raise in value.
- Prepare to start a family. The plan entails getting my health in order, getting private generic testing (samples, results, personal data destroyed if company is sold), and optimizing nutrition to ensure a child’s health. If we were to have kids, it would be four years out, putting me in my mid-30s and my partner in his early-40s, so we want to what we can to minimize the risks that come with childbearing a little later in life.
- Think about the overall vision for my life. No progress. However, I think blogging gives me an outlet to explore my various interests and dabble in whatever writing format strikes my fancy on a given day. It is said that action trumps words, so perhaps just showing up here is a form of thinking about the overall vision of my life and steering myself in the right direction.